Hines Ward made it crystal clear that he wants to return to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He met with coach Mike Tomlin and team president Art Rooney II on Friday. He informed them he will do anything to return, but received no guarantees in return.
Ward told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that it is up to the team whether or not he returns. Ward said, “they really didn’t say, it wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad. We were just talking.” At this point it is too early to determine if the team will consider bringing back the veteran. Ward is scheduled to make $4 million next season and has two years left on his contract. However, there is a clause in Ward’s contract stating that the team must make a decision to sign or release him by March 1st.
Despite his age, 36, Ward believes he can still play at a high level and contribute to the team. “I just wanted to let them know I want to be here, I want to play,” Ward told the Post Gazette. “I have two years on my contact. I know I have to restructure, but, under the circumstances, I think I can still play football.”
At this point in his career Ward may not have the ability to consistently get open, but he still has the hands to make clutch catches. He could be a viable slot receiver on third downs and in the red-zone. He has the knowledge to read coverage and find the soft spot in the defense. It would be wise for Pittsburgh to bring back Ward for his leadership and ability to make big catches in big moments.